TRI SATYA MASTUTI WIDI1, TETY HARTATIK2, HENK UDO1
1Wageningen University, Department of Animal Science, Animal Production Systems Group, The Netherlands
2Gadjah Mada University, Laboratory of Animal Breeding, Indonesia
Madura cattle is one of the prominent local cattle breeds in Indonesia; probably formed from Bali (Bos javanicus), Ongole (Bos indicus) and Bos taurus cattle. The uniformity of this breed was developed from tuft selection by Madura people. Madura cattle are embedded in cultural activities of the Madura people. One cultural events involving Madura cattle is the Sonok contest, which is a traditionally selection of good heifers and cows. Cultural practices for keeping Sonok animals and criteria applied to select it can be considered for conservation of Madura cattle. The aim of this study was to explore phenotypic characteristics of Sonok animals among different age groups.
In total, 166 heads of Sonok animals divided into 6 age groups were observed for their exterior characteristics, namely, body colour, existence of dewlap, hump, smear colour around eyes, mouth and legs, and existence of the coloured back line. In total, 106 heads of Sonok heifers and cows were observed for their body condition score (BCS).
Most Sonok animals in all age groups are dark brown (64%), have medium dewlap (66%) and small hump (61%), non specific smear colour around eyes (55%), mouth (52%) and on legs (58%), and no coloured back line (55%). It seems that Madura cattle characteristics are a combination of the characteristics of Bali and Ongole cattle. These characteristics have been maintained by farmers as traditional selection criteria through the Sonok contest. Almost all Sonok heifers and cows had good body condition score (98.1%). By applying traditional selection practices, Madura people have maintained the phenotype uniformities of this breed for a long time.
Keywords: Madura cattle, phenotype uniformity, Sonok, traditional selection